Buick Open Preview

The PGA Tour heads for Warwick Hills, Michigan this week for the Buick Open. Tiger Woods is in the field as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the Open Championship.

!7th green at Warwick Hills

Lowdown: Defending champion Kenny Perry may not be on the start sheet at Warwick Hills but another former winner of the Buick Open will have the attention of the field. Tiger Woods is back in competitive action this week as he begins his preparation for the Bridgestone Invitational next week then the PGA Championship the week after. In 2008, Warwick Hills ranked as the ninth easiest course on the PGA Tour circuit and it’s a venue that tends to witness low scoring. Tiger Woods and Billy Mayfair’s course record of 61 and Kenny Perry’s -19 wininng total in 2008 confirm this. The course is a favourite among the Tour players. Originally designed by James Gilmore Harrison in 1957 it was re-modelled by Joe Lee in 1968. Always presented in immaculate condition, the layout is renowned for the quality of its greens. It means you’ll see a lot of longer putts dropping through the course of the week. It’s the 45th running of the Buick Open and the tournament has seen some notable winners over the years including – Billy Casper, Hale Irwin, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods.

Venue: Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Michigan Course stats: par 72, 7,127 yards Purse: $5,000,000, Winner: $900,000 and a brand new Buick Defending Champion: Kenny Perry (-19)

TV coverage: Thursday 30 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 8pm Friday 31 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 8pm Saturday 1 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 6pm Sunday 2 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 6pm

Player Watch: Tiger Woods – The World Number 1 was victorious here in 2002 and 2006 and finished as runner-up in 2003 and 2005. He’ll be looking to bounce straight back from a disappointing Open Championship with a win here. Jim Furyk – The 2003 Champion has eight top-10 finishes in 14 starts at Warwick Hills. He was tied seventh at the AT&T National at the start of the month and was in contention at the Open until a disappointing final round. John Daly – “Wild Thing” fired closing rounds of 66, 66 at Warwick Hills back in 2004 and very nearly caught Vijay Singh. He clearly likes the course and is currently playing some of the best golf we’ve seen from him in recent years.

Key hole: 17th. An attractive par three of 197 yards that always attracts big crowds on the final day. The green is protected, not only by a water hazard, but also by bunkers. Miss the green left and the ball will tend to kick away into the woods.

Skills required: Making birdies. It’s a low-scoring tournament and the winner will post a glut of red numbers over the four days.

Where next?

Fergus Bisset: A false impression Equipment: Ping launch new i15 and G15 ranges Competitions: Win a trip to Dubai   

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?